Bye bye, Ballmer -- Steve bows out from the board at Microsoft
Having left his post as CEO of Microsoft six months ago, Steve Ballmer today further cut his ties with the company. In a letter to Satya Nadella, he explains that it would be "impractical" to continue to serve on the board of directors. The decision comes after the purchase of the LA Clippers, and Ballmer's letter makes reference to "the start of the NBA season" meaning that his "departure from the board is effective immediately". But Steve is not cutting the umbilical cord entirely; he remains a shareholder and wants to keep his hand in to some extent.
The heart-warmingly friendly letter praises Nadella's drive and vision at the top of Microsoft, and it's clear that Ballmer is still deeply passionate about the company he leaves behind:
I bleed Microsoft -- have for 34 years and I always will. I continue to love discussing the company’s future. I love trying new products and sending feedback. I love reading about what is going on at the company. Count on me to keep ideas and inputs flowing. The company will move to higher heights. I will be proud, and I will benefit through my share ownership. I promise to support and encourage boldness by management in my role as a shareholder in any way I can.
The full letter can be seen on the Microsoft website, along with Nadella's reply. The current CEO manages to use the "mobile-first, cloud-first world" mantra just once, compared to Ballmer's twice:
First, thank you for all of your support during my transition this year and for the past 34 years. It’s been a great privilege to have worked with you and learned from you. Under your leadership, we created an incredible foundation that we continue to build on -- and Microsoft will thrive in the mobile-first, cloud-first world.
Nadella is now firmly in control of the good ship Microsoft, but it will be interesting to see how much, if any, influence, Ballmer manages to wield after taking yet another step away.